Inis Oirr school issues video appeal for new students

Inis Oirr school issues video appeal for new students

  By Ciaran Tierney The principal of the secondary school on the smallest of the three Aran Islands has issued an appeal for new students from the mainland to come and live on Inis Oirr to help maintain student and teacher numbers. Coláiste Ghobnait has collaborated with the island’s arts centre, Áras Éanna Ionad Ealaíne, to produce a new four minute video which highlights the delights of living and studying on the Gaeltacht island in Co Galway. Grants are available for students throughout Ireland who wish to study on the island, where Irish is very much a living language and...

Joy on Inis Oirr as Bríd wins national Best Actor award

Joy on Inis Oirr as Bríd wins national Best Actor award

By Ciaran Tierney In a first for an Irish language production, Brid Ní Neachtain won the Best Actress award for her role as Winnie in ‘Laethanta Sona’ here in Inis Oirr at the 23rd Irish Times Theatre Awards in Dublin last night. The remarkable vision of theatre producer Sarah Jane Scaife to stage an Irish language production of ‘Happy Days’ by Samuel Beckett outdoors at such a challenging location was recognised in Brid’s gong for her brilliant performance on the island last year. Bríd was present at the glittering awards ceremony at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin...

Máirtín O Connor Trio

Máirtín O Connor Trio

By Ciaran Tierney One of the best-loved musicians ever to emerge from the West of Ireland, Máirtín O Connor, is headlining a special free outdoor show on Inis Oirr this Saturday, June 11 (8pm). Accordion player Máirtín will be joined by Cathal Hayden (fiddle, banjo) and Kevin Doherty (guitars, vocals) for what promises to be the musical highlight of the summer on the Gaeltacht island. Support comes from the cream of musicians on the island, including Michéal Ó hAlmhain, Clann Uí Domhnaill, and other local guests. This event is supported by Galway County Council Arts Office and funded through the...

Two national nominations for Inis Oirr play

Two national nominations for Inis Oirr play

by Ciaran Tierney The superb vision of theatre director Sarah Jane Scaife to stage an Irish language version of a Samuel Beckett play at an outdoor location at the back of Inis Oirr is reflected in two nominations for ‘Laethanta Sona’ at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards next month. Sarah Jane used a month long residency at Áras Éanna,after more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions, to fuse her passion for both the works of Beckett and the smallest of the Aran Islands at a stunning location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Company SJ and Abbey Theatre production,...

Bringing ‘The Pirate Queen’ to Inis Oirr

Bringing ‘The Pirate Queen’ to Inis Oirr

By Ciaran Tierney The story of a fierce feminist leader, seafarer, and mother from the West of Ireland will be brought to life in a special 50 minute stage production at Áras Éanna Ionad Ealaíne, Inis Oirr, on Wednesday night, May 4th (8pm). This family show, which is mostly ‘as Gaeilge’, tells the story of Gráinne Ní Mháille, the Irish Chieftain from West Mayo, who travelled to London to meet Queen Elizabeth and is seen by many people as a powerful symbol of Irish freedom and resistance. She famously met Queen Elizabeth I in London in September 1593 for a...

An Criú artists embrace island life

An Criú artists embrace island life

By Ciaran Tierney A collective of Galway-based artists known as An Criú are planning to stage a major community event on Inis Oirr next year after seven of them completed a wonderful ten day stay on the island in partnership with Áras Éanna this week. An Criú, former performers and production people with Macnas in Galway City, have been regular visitors to the island since their formation in 2017. They staged an outdoor exhibition, ‘Amach’s Amach’, at An Gleann Draíochta last summer. But they felt a need to engage more with the people of the island and artists Emma O’Grady,...

The ‘mad, bad, and dangerous’ women of Ireland

The ‘mad, bad, and dangerous’ women of Ireland

By Ciarán Tierney A series of four documentary films celebrating the lives of older Irish women who have been “mad, bad, and dangerous” will be screened at Áras Éanna, Inis Oirr, on Sunday. The screenings of the films, which were created and directed by Emma O’Grady, is part of our celebration of International Women’s Day this week. Emma, who has been enjoying time out on Inis Oirr this winter and is a frequent visitor to the island, will screen the four films at two hour intervals from 1pm to 5pm. Each of the films is one hour and 45 minutes...

A six week adventure on the island

A six week adventure on the island

by Ciarán Tierney Two Gaeltacht artists, Clare Cashman and Caitríona Ní Conaola, are set to make Inis Oirr their home for the next six weeks thanks to a wonderful new residency in partnership with Ealaín na Gaeltachta. The artists, who are both based in Connemara, successfully applied for the residencies at Áras Éanna when we advertised them in November of last year. The residencies were open to any two artists, based in the Gaeltacht, who wanted to take six weeks out on our beautiful island. They will stay in our artists’ house on Inis Oirr and will be able to...

A place that inspires visiting artists

A place that inspires visiting artists

By Ciaran Tierney Can you think of a better place than Inis Oirr to take time out and find inspiration? As restrictions eased last year, we opened up and expanded our artists in residence programme to bring a wider variety of artists to the island. For 22 years now, artists have been coming to Áras Éanna to enjoy the atmosphere, scenery, language and culture, and the friendliness of the people on the island. In 2021, we were delighted to welcome some amazing theatre companies, visual artists, writers, and musicians, and even acrobats, who worked on some fantastic projects during their...

A stunning location for outdoor shows

A stunning location for outdoor shows

By Ciaran Tierney 2021 was the year when Áras Éanna Ionad Ealaine began to look at the beautiful island of Inis Oirr as a perfect location for outdoor shows. For decades, artists have been coming to the smallest of the Aran Islands to take inspiration from its beautiful landscape, friendly people, stunning views, stone walls, and a Gaeltacht culture which connects them with our ancestors. Programming in a pandemic has been a challenge for arts centres all across the world. But, as the arts centre celebrated its 21st birthday in 2021, Artistic Director Dara McGee came up with the idea...

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